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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
8:27pm
Tue Nov 10, 2015

Low-Wage Workers March In Downtown Chicago, Push For Fight For $15 Political Agenda (VIDEO)

Hundreds of low-wage Chicago workers and their allies hit the city's downtown streets Tuesday evening to call for a $15 an hour minimum wage, union recognition and other items on their new "voter agenda."

The protest, which started at the Thompson Center and ended with a march to a nearby McDonald's at Clark and Lake streets, was one among many Fight for $15 actions happening Tuesday in 500 U.S. cities.

Fast food and other low-wage workers chanted, "What do we want? $15! When do we want it? Now!"

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
2:08pm
Tue Nov 10, 2015

Chicago Fight For $15 Activists Rally For 'Racial, Economic Justice' During National Day Of Protests (VIDEO)

Low-wages workers with the Fight for $15 campaign went on strike Tuesday in 270 cities, including Chicago. Progress Illinois provides highlights from the morning Fight for $15 protests in Chicago.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:01pm
Thu Oct 8, 2015

Barneys Employees In Chicago Push To Unionize, Receive Aldermanic Support (VIDEO)

Ahead of their union election on Saturday, workers seeking to unionize at the Barneys New York in Chicago saw support Thursday morning from three aldermen, who visited the luxury department store and urged management to "treat their employees with respect" and stop alleged anti-union "intimidation tactics."

Chicago Alds. Susan Sadlowski Garza (10th), Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th) and John Arena (45th) met briefly with the Barneys Chicago manager inside the store, 15 E. Oak St., to voice their concerns about the treatment of workers there.

"The flagship Barneys New York store in Manhattan has had a union for decades, and today the workers in Chicago of Barneys New York are asking for the same protections, for the same rights, as their counterparts in New York City. I think it's only fair. It's only right," Ramirez-Rosa told Progress Illinois outside Barneys.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:44pm
Fri Apr 17, 2015

Report: Irregular Work Scheduling Affects 17 Percent Of U.S. Workers

Unstable work schedules impact at least 17 percent of the U.S. workforce, with low-wage workers facing irregular shift times the most.

That's according to a new report from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), a Washington, D.C. think tank. The report, "Irregular Work Scheduling and its Consequences," is based on General Social Survey data.

Ten percent of U.S. workers have "irregular and on-call work shift times," combined with another 7 percent "who work split or rotating shifts," according to the research.

Low-wage workers are among the most prone to having unstable schedules, which are associated with longer average hourly workweeks in some occupations. Employees in low-wage industries often have little control over their schedules, the findings showed.

According to the report, irregular scheduling is most common in the following industries: retail trade; finance, insurance, real estate; business, repair services; personal services; entertainment, recreation; and agriculture.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
2:54pm
Thu Dec 4, 2014

Chicago Fast Food Workers Call For $15 During National Day Of Strikes (VIDEO)

About 500 Chicago fast food workers and their supporters hit the city's downtown streets Thursday morning to call for a $15 an hour minimum wage and union recognition during a national day of strikes in 190 U.S. cities. Progress Illinois provides highlights from the Chicago protest.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:17pm
Tue Oct 7, 2014

Workers' Rights Advocates Call For Paid Sick Leave As Chicago Aldermen Move Forward On Ballot Referendum

Chicago voters might have an opportunity during the February municipal election to weigh in on a non-binding ballot referendum about paid sick leave for workers in the city.

The council's Rules Committee passed a resolution at its Tuesday meeting calling for an advisory ballot question on whether employers in Chicago should be required to provide their employees with paid leave in the event of an "illness or public health emergency." The full council could consider the proposal at its meeting this Wednesday. 

Chicago Ald. Joe Moore (49th), one of the sponsors of the referendum resolution, discussed the measure at a forum on paid sick leave and other pro-worker initiatives held this morning at Roosevelt University.

"It's a great organizing tool for those who support paid sick leave," Moore said of the pending citywide referendum, also sponsored by Alds. Joe Moreno (1st) and Will Burns (4th). Moore said he is confident the measure will pass through the full council tomorrow.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:15pm
Thu Sep 4, 2014

Chicagoland Fast Food Workers Strike For Higher Wages; 31 Arrests Made (VIDEO)

Chicago fast food workers escalated their fight on Thursday for a $15 hourly wage and union rights by participating in acts of civil disobedience during a nationwide day of strikes. Progress Illinois was there for today's protests.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
1:25pm
Mon Aug 4, 2014

Fired Chicago Walmart Worker 'Seeking Justice' Over 'Retaliatory' Firing

A pregnant former Walmart worker on Chicago's South Side says she was unjustly fired and is now fighting to get her job back.

The worker and labor activists plan to protest the pregnant employee's May firing Tuesday evening at the Walmart in Chatham. 

Back in April, Thelma Moore was shopping at the Chatham Walmart on her day off when two TV boxes fell from a product cart and hit her. Moore, who was about two months pregnant at the time, sought immediate medical care after the accident, which occurred just over a week after she was hired. Moore, 23, said she hurt her ankle during the incident and also experienced vaginal bleeding.

Both her primary physician and an orthopedic doctor wrote letters stating Moore needed to take a total of two-and-a-half weeks off of work to recover. Those letters were provided to the store's management, according to Moore.

On May 8, she was supposed to start working the overnight shift again. Moore brought along a list of needed accommodations written by her primary doctor, including a water break every two hours and a restriction on lifting items heavier than 25 pounds. Moore said she was instructed to fill out company paperwork for the requested accommodations, which would take between seven to 10 business days to process. In the meantime, Moore was not put on the schedule because no positions were immediately available that involved lifting only up to 25 pounds, she said.

"All that time (I was) just waiting on that form to come back," she said, adding that she checked in with management on multiple occasions to see if the accommodations had been approved and when she could return to work. "They can view the cameras. I was up there every day trying to get my job back."

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